Last month, Annie Rahe was picking up some groceries at her local Walmart when she decided to take a peek at the Christmas decor. As she pushed her cart into the holiday aisle, her early Christmas shopping took an unexpected turn.

A little black and white kitten was sleeping between the wooden pallets — his owners nowhere to be seen.

Rahe found a sales associate and asked why the kitten was all alone.

“He informed me that [the kitten] had been dumped in the Walmart parking lot and kept sneaking into the store and hiding under the pallets,” Rahe told The Dodo. “I don’t know exactly how long he was there, but the worker told me that others had tried to coerce him out.”

Rahe immediately abandoned her cart and headed to the pet supplies aisle to buy a can of kitten food.

“He was so tiny and dirty — the thought of him being there alone destroyed my heart,” Rahe said. “I wasn’t leaving without him.”

As soon as she set the can of food down on the floor, the kitten ran over and started scarfing it down. The food distracted the kitten long enough for Rahe to grab ahold of him. “I was able to round up a box from a dumpster,” Rahe said. “I also used another piece of flimsy cardboard as the lid until I could get back to the pet aisle to pick up a carrier to secure Wally in.”

“I spent about 45 to 50 minutes just trying to gain his trust, because initially he climbed out of the box and my cart, and I had to catch him a second time,” she added. “It made for a chaotic situation.”

Rahe had intended to leave the store with groceries — but she ended up loading her car with a kitten and kitten supplies.

Once at home, Rahe named the kitten Wally and gave him a bath and another meal, and he fell asleep happily with a full belly.

While Wally is small and underweight for his age, he’s generally healthy and is clearly delighted with his new home and family.

“He is a happy little guy who purrs immediately when I enter the room,” Rahe said. “I have to walk carefully around him because he is always right under my feet. He is very playful with all of his new toys, and he is wonderful about using his box and scratching post!”
When Wally is fully vaccinated and finishes all his treatments, he will slowly be introduced to his cat and dog siblings. Rahe has no doubt that the playful little kitten will worm his way into their hearts, just as he did with her.

Rahe wasn’t expecting to adopt a kitten on her trip to Walmart, but sometimes the best gifts are free.